In a recent post I mentioned my having changed dentists (the one I’ve been seeing for years retired) and her using technologies and methods that are new to me.
One such method this new dentist uses is a scoring system for the health of my gums. Some of you will no doubt be familiar with a dentist probing “pockets” around each tooth. A pocket is an indicator of how healthy gums are, with a healthy pocket being very shallow and problem areas being deeper. My previous dentist would do this and then typically tell me I need to floss more often or pay better attention to a particular area of my mouth.
When I first visited her about 3 months ago this new dentist did such a probing and associated scoring. She then showed me the scores for each tooth and I was able to understand, tooth by tooth, where there were areas to which I needed to pay better attention. Having this information didn’t really cause me to change my dental habits. I was still pretty casual as to my flossing, or I was until my next visit.
I recently went to this dentist for my 3 month cleaning. She once again did a probing of the pockets. Then, on a spreadsheet she printed out, I was able to see, once again tooth by tooth, which of my scores had improved and by how much (these were in green), which scores had remained the same and which scores had gone down and by how much (these were, as you’d expect, in red). I was able to see both where I‘d improved and where things had worsened.
Seeing that I had made improvements (my score had gone up on about 6 of my teeth) and where I’d slipped a bit (my scores were lower on 3 teeth) was very motivating. I am much better about flossing and using my electric toothbrush. I’m working towards improving all of my scores and not having any of them in the red on my next visit.
I’ve no doubt you can see where I’m going with this as it relates to the work we do, right? Knowing the level of quality you’re submitting, knowing where improvements have been made, and where they need to be made, is motivating and causes people to strive to make improvements. I know this from my experiences with clients for whom we conduct periodic assessments and provide scores on proposal quality and capabilities. Those teams are always eager to learn the results of an assessment and use that information to formulate improvement initiatives.
If you’re already assessing and scoring both the quality of your proposals and your capabilities, then you know how beneficial this is and you are to be commended. If you aren’t conducting assessments and getting scores to help you know how you’re doing and what needs to be improved, you really should consider doing so. Hey, it got me to start flossing on a regular basis!